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More arrests in hospital scandal; 15 infected, one dies, at Hogar León which needs help urgently; Medical app offers virtual doctor’s office visits

Lunes, 13/7/2020

Hola, Todos –

For whoever wanted links to the articles – sorry, but no can do. I work off a real newspaper. One you can wrap the garbage in after you’re done with it. You can get your own subscription, delivered to your house or into your mora bush, if you have one, by calling 411 1786, ext. 211 or 099 126 5266.

Actividades –
Nada

Otras cosas –

Titular – 90 “extranjeros” a elección de Cruyff (90 “foreigners” at Cruyff’s choice) – The article is about Ecuadorians playing for fútbol teams overseas, but it’s sports so this is all you’re going to get.

Salcedo’s trainer arrested – The Work Force of Guayas which is made up of the Prosecutor’s Office and special units of the Policía Nacional, arrested Abraham M. on el noche de este sábado. He is being investigated for commercial embezzlement for selling ampules of medicine that were donated to the IESS to treat critical COVID patients. Also arrested were his brother, the ex-director of the Hospital del Guasmo, the pharmacy chief, and another pharmacy official. Abraham M. is the personal trainer of Daniel Salcedo who was deported from Peru where the plane he used to escape from Ecuador crashed. Salcedo is in preventive prison at a hospital and accused of being part of a corruption ring that was selling body bags to the Hospital de Los Ceibos for $148.50 when the market value was $12.00.

Fifteen of the elderly residents of Hogar Miguel León in the historic district have tested positive for Covid. (El Mercurio)

More electoral zones for Azuay – There will be 6 more electoral zones in Azuay for the 2021 elections. 3 are rural and 3 are urban. The first 3 are San Gerardo in Camilo Ponce Enríquez canton; Gullanzhapa in Cuenca canton; and San Antonio de Ñugro in Pucará canton. The new voting districts in Cuenca are in the urban parishes of Hermano Miguel, in Misicata in Yanuncay; and in La Católica in El Vecino. The creating of new voting areas is to avoid absenteeism on voting day. <This makes me happy to be here instead of the US where polling places are being closed to make it harder or impossible for people to vote.>

171, an ally in the face of mental problems – Most of the 823 calls to the 171 call center, option 6 are asking for mental health support. This free service arranged by the MSP (Ministerio de Salud Pública) is staffed by professionals, graduates and students in psychology. The 171 line was activated el 29/2, the day Ecuador confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, as a national platform to give information about the virus.

Two weeks after the national quarantine was declared, the Department of Psychology at the U. of Cuenca started this initiative to provide free mental health attention through 171, option 6. It now involves a network of 12 universities which staff the line 24/7. Most calls are from Pichincha and Guayas and are for issues such as anxiety which are code yellow. Code red calls are for issues such as suicide attempts or intrafamiliar violence. Fortunately there has not been abuse of the line for joke calls, although people calling 171 for medical attention will wind up going to option 6 if their calls are not answered on other extensions.

Medical App – Doctorisy <For those of you with zero Spanish, this would be pronounced Doctor Easy> is now offering direct service in Cuenca. The app was created 3 years ago to make either virtual or in-office medical appointments. The network has been downloaded 48,000 times and has 4,800 doctors and 65,000 registered patients. <You’ll have to try it to see if there are services in English so you can ditch your medical facilitator.>

SRI open today – The SRI office on Remigio Crespo opened today with health precautions. The days you can go to the office depends on the 9th number of your cedula. If the number is 1 or 2, you can go los lunes. If it’s 3 or 4, your day is martes; 5 or 6 is miércoles; 7 or 8 is jueves; and 9 0r 0 is viernes. <So how many of you had to look at your cedula to see what the 9th number is?> If you have a disability, are an adulto mayor (senior citizen) or a pregnant woman <the woman part isn’t really needed, though, is it? Who else gets pregnant?> you can go any day. Everyone needs to make an appointment on-line with the Quipux tool, or at www.tramitesazuayu@sri.gob.ec. <So you old gringos can finally get back to claiming your IVA refunds. The country might be too broke to pay you anytime soon, though.>

Hogar Miguel León needs help urgently – The home is caring for 38 seniors and 25 orphaned children and adolescents. Between the staff and residents, 15 people have been infected with coronavirus and one has died. The Hijas de Caridad (Daughters of Charity) nuns who run the center are asking for help to rehouse some people. They need supplies such as surgical and N95 masks, surgical gowns and shoes, liquid soap, and 70% alcohol and gel for disinfection. The also need wet wipes, guantes de manejo (driving gloves? or work gloves? <I just can’t see the nuns tooling around town in sports cars wearing driving gloves>), nitrile gloves, rubber boots sized 36 and up, quaternary ammonium, detergent, toilet paper <I also don’t suspect that the nuns are hoarding toilet paper.>, and bio-security suits. You can leave your donations at the Hogar on calle Simón Bolívar between Coronel Talbot and Estévez de Toral or you can email them at hogarmiguel@hotmail.com. According to initial investigations, the virus came in with a patient who was admitted although a rapid test was negative. The patient was asymptomatic.

The Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES) has received alerts about contagions in other old age homes. The COE (Comité de Operaciones de Emergencia) of Azuay is analyzing what measures to take in coordination with the MSP.

COVID statistics – As of ayer, Ecuador has 67,870 confirmed cases which is 661 more cases than on sábado. There have been 16 more deaths raising the total to 5,047 with another 3,292 probable deaths from COVID. Since the first case on 29/2, there have been 182,523 tests given including both PCR and rapid tests.

New algorithm to identify the sick – A group of researchers from México, the US, Spain, and Italy have developed a technical algorithm to detect people who have COVID by listening to them cough over their phone. Led by specialists from MIT, the scientists assembled a database of thousands of coughs from people of all ages, both healthy and infected with coronavirus. They found that the coughs and tone of voice of people who are sick, asymptomatic, and healthy are different. This system can identify in only 15 seconds, which category a person is in. The tool will be available as a free download to any mobile device. <That will make the PCR and rapid tests as relevant as the buggy whip. The big pharmaceuticals will have to find something else to overcharge us for.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne